Out with the old, welcome the new!

on December 31, 2013

So it's the last day of the year 2013. What a rollercoaster it's been! Ups and downs, such goes life... after 4 years I still haven't gotten used to starting the new year with blue skies and lots of sunshine. No fireworks here in New Zealand. No walks in the snow. Instead I had a wonderful afternoon at the beach with a swim once I got home from work :-) What a lovely way to end a year!

As always there's some New Year resolutions I've made, too.

1. Think positive! Don't worry and be happy :-) Good things come to those who believe...

2. Enjoy life!

3. LIVE! Been working way too much, that definitely has to change. I want to go out more, meet people, explore the beautiful country I've chosen to live in.

What about you guys? What's your top priorities for 2014? It's going to be my year, I can feel it =D

Getting ready for Christmas

on December 23, 2013

One day before Christmas Eve I've finally managed to make a batch of Vanillekipferl, the traditional German Christmas cookies everyone soooo loves *heehee*

For all of those who want to try... here's the recipe again (slightly modified for New Zealand ingredients)...

400g butter
560g flour
120g sugar
200g ground almonds
4 teaspoons of vanilla essence (equals 120g vanilla sugar or 4 packages of vanillin sugar in Germany)

* knead the dough until all the ingredients are combined
* roll out little mountain-shaped Kipferl as shown in the picture above
* bake for 15 to 20mins in the oven at 180°C until golden yellow
* let Kipferl cool down, then roll in a mix of icing and vanilla sugar
* enjoy :-)

Yucky spider!

Look what crawled out of the shed today! Must have been hiding under the logs we brought home a while ago...

Back on track

on December 10, 2013

After eating lots of junk food in the past few months I've finally come to the conclusion - I need to change something! Started exercising again and hope I can keep it up for a while. Will try and so a little bit EVERY day instead of overdoing it and then losing motivation. So today I only went for a "little" walk - down the driveway to the letterbox and back. It's about 1km - but MAN she's steep! I can feel my buttocks BIG time... Working heaps the next couple of days so gotta think of something to incorporate a bit of exercise into my schedule...

What is YOUR favourite indoor exercise? Plank... Crunches... ? Let me know and I'll give it a go =D

Living off the land

Our garden is really starting to produce now =D We've started harvesting courgettes (zucchini) and get about 10 a day *woohoo* We take them off when they're still fairly small to make the plants produce more - instead of ending up with monstrous marrows that nobody can eat before they go off *lol*

Matt has also been picking the first beans and it looks like in a few days we'll be eating our first cucumbers. Peas will be ready in a couple of weeks and just after Christmas we should have corn and capsicum (peppers) and the first pumpkins.

Tomatoes? Hum... not doing so well this year. Due to the constant change in the weather we're battling blight hard out this year. Been spraying heaps but it doesn't seem to help. Anyone have some more suggestions?

The Kiwi Christmas Tree

on December 09, 2013

The Pohutekawa blossoms around Christmas - this is our very own specimen =D